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VISOR Business Model Framework


Created by CTM's former Director of Research, Omar El Sawy (now Professor of Information Systems at The Marshall School of Business), VISOR is a business model framework to clearly define how a company can evaluate the viability of a new technology introduction or service offering.

In the past, there has been great confusion about business models. One reason is simply that the terms “business model, strategy, business concept, revenue model and economic model" have often been used interchangeably  Moreover, the business model has been referred to as architecture, design, pattern, plan, method, assumption and statement.

However, a good business model defines how a firm responds to a customer need, latent or established, thus creating and delivering the greatest value to the customer, in a profitable and sustainable manner, and, as such, optimizes costs to value creation. A successful business model is one delivers the greatest value proposition that maximize the willingness to pay on the part of its target consumers against the ability to minimize the real cost (tangible and intangible) of the provision of these services.

Especially in new market-spaces such as NDI, the search for viable business models is critical. It is important to articulate and define the elements of a business model in order to:  
 (i) attain “ common language and framework”
 (ii) use the framework to assess the viability of new business propositions
 (iii) understand the multiple elements that have to be in place for a  successful business model. 

The VISOR Business Model Framework defines five variables that companies must establish to assess the viability of any project: 

  • Value Proposition – The model should define why particular customer segments would value an enterprise’s products and services and be willing to pay a premium price for them.
  • Interface – The successful delivery of a product or service is heavily predicated on the user interface experience in terms of ease of use, simplicity, convenience, and positive energy. The interface should generate a “Wow” experience.
  • Service Platforms – What IT platform will the service be offered on? The platform must enable, shape, and support the business processes and relationships needed to deliver the products and services, as well as improve the value proposition.
  • Organizing Model – Describes how an enterprise or a set of partners will organize its business processes, value chains, and partner relationships to effectively and efficiently deliver products and services.
  • Revenue / Cost Sharing – In a good business model, the combination of the value proposition, the way that offerings are delivered, and the investments in IT platforms are such that revenues exceed costs and attractive for all partners.

For more information on the VISOR Business Model Framework, please contact: 

 Dr. Francis Pereira
 Director of Industry Research
 213-740-8368
 pereira@marshall.usc.edu